Premier Inn to open German hotel by 2015

Caitlin Morrison
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THE UK hotel and restaurant group Whitbread, owner of Costa and Premier Inn, announced yesterday that it was expanding into Germany after a successful first half of 2014.

Its share price dipped slightly, by 0.66 per cent, after the firm revealed that it had purchased a 200-room hotel in Frankfurt to trial Premier Inns in the German market, and planned to open the new site early next year.

Andy Harrison, Whitbread chief executive, said the company expects to open around half a dozen hotels in Germany over the next four to five years “with a growing pipeline”.

He added: “We shall operate these hotels as an extension of our Premier Inn UK business, leveraging our UK expertise and capabilities and benefiting from British visitors to Germany.”

The announcement came as the company reported a 13 per cent jump in revenue for the first six months of 2014, from £1.15m to £1.29m, while profit before tax climbed from £200.7m to £241.8m.

Harrison said Whitbread was aiming to invest around £500m this financial year “in driving our organic growth and further improving the quality and consistency of our customer experience”, and also planned to open 4,500 new Premier Inn UK rooms and 230 Costa stores worldwide.

He commented: “This keeps us on track to achieve our ambitious growth milestones.”

Analysts at Numis said: “We believe that Whitbread remains on track for another good year as its strong brands continue to win market share and its ambitious organic network expansion gains momentum.”